Officer Steven Gajda

In the start of 1998, CRASH unit Officer Steven Gajda was shot in the head as he pursued 17-year-old Mario Machado fleeing a New Year’s Eve party in Boyle Heights. The two continued to struggle and Machado was killed under fire from Gajda’s partners.

“Gajda had volunteered to work the point, which means he confronted a situation in the position of greatest danger,” said Ofc. Cesar Ramirez of his late partner. “He often assumed that role and he was not afraid to jump into a gun battle. The position was not assigned or determined by rotation or chance. Steve took the part.” To dispel the anxiety of working their perilous posts, Gadja often drew caricatures of the lighter-hearted side of those neighborhoods and even designed a logo for the Hollenbeck station featuring the Tasmanian Devil on a mirror in the building.

Following a stint as a helicopter mechanic with the Army’s 101st Airborn Division, Gadja died doing what he loved for seven years with the LAPD, especially the foot pursuits. “It was one of his favorite things to do,” said Mark Gajda, Steven’s brother and a firefighter. “He always wanted to be the first one to catch a person.”

The Steve Gadja Blue Ribbon Trust Fund was created to aid the fallen officer’s wife and daughter, accepting donations to the Hollenbeck Station at 2111 East First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033.

Posted by on Nov 25 2005. Filed under Policing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

1 Comment for “Officer Steven Gajda”

  1. […] Officer Steve Gajada,Los Angeles Police Department, Hollenbeck Division, Jan 1, 1998, killed by Mario Machado, 17 […]

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